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Natural Dyeing with Onion Skins

I have really been enjoying all the knitting that has been going on around here and felt I really wanted to knit a cowl with naturally dyed wool with an autumn theme. I have been saving onions skins in a packet in the veggie drawer and I finally had enough today to dye some wool. It is such fun watching the colours develop in the dye pot and attach to the wool. So if you feel you would like to give natural dyeing a try, I took some photos of the process to share here…

Materials:
About 5 handfuls of red and brown onion skins
Stainless steel pot used only for your dyeing
Vinegar
Merino wool

Wind your wool into a skein if it isn’t already in one. Soak the skein in a bowl of water for a few hours, making sure the water reaches every part of your skein. Then place some vinegar in the water and leave this to stand for another hour or so.

I love the look of these onion skins!
Fill your pot half full with water and place the onion skins in the water. Push the skins under the water and turn on the heat. Bring the pot to almost boiling point, don’t let it boil as I find this ruins the vibrant colour. Then turn down the heat and let it cool a little. It is always a good idea to let the wool and the dye bath be the same temperature when the wool is placed in the pot so that it isn’t ‘shocked’ as this will negatively affect the colourway.

Lovely rich colour.

Place the skein of wool in the dye bath and allow the pot to simmer gently, don’t let it boil or the colour will become a dirty brown and the wool will felt. Let it simmer for about 45 minutes until there is a beautiful rich colour on the wool.

When you are happy with the colour, remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool completely.

When your wool has cooled, remove it from the dye bath and rinse it in a basin of water.

Gently squeeze out the water from the skein and hang it out to dry.

And that’s all there is too it:)

PS. this embroidered tea towel is one I sewed when I was in primary school…

Happy wool dyeing! :)

Comments { 27 }

Wool, Wonderful Wool and Wool Giveaway

The dyeing process is finally finished, I really enjoyed it, the wool has come out a gentle, light reddish brown colour with flecks of grey (that aren’t showing up in the photos at all) but I can see them and I am so happy they are there. It has a whole Autumn feel to it… I think I’m going to cast on my Tea Leaves Cardi tonight, I can’t wait!! I have never knitted from such a huge pile of wool before, I dyed an extra 3 skeins for just in case.

I have started a new pattern, this one is for a Rhino…

The super wash wool is finished being spun, I was going to knit a hat, but Kye has asked for ‘white mittens’ instead, (he loves the book called The Mitten) so I am going to offer this skein as a giveaway.
If you would like to win a skein of super wash hand spun rainbow Merino wool, please just leave a comment below:)
I will announce a winner on Saturday in this post.

Congratulations to:

I am a wool addict, so it would be great to win this!!! Love the colour of your self-dyed yarn, it has a ‘tenderness’ in it, a bit of slow beginning of autumn…
Please could you send me your postals address and I will send off your rainbow wool, you can reach me on lindadawkins@mweb.co.za

Hope your day is filled with some kind of wonderful.
Linda

Comments { 143 }

Thursday

We have had a wonderfully busy day today, which included a visit to the post office, a grocery shop and an old friend popped in for tea, which was lovely. This morning I wound wool into balls to send off to someone, their shape reminds me of mango pips…

We had to make a new batch of laundry soap for the washing machine… It is amazing and this whole batch of 11 litres only cost me R 16.00 to make which is about $ 2.00! You can find the recipe on Rhonda’s blog. It’s so nice to walk past the laundry section in the grocery store and know that I don’t need to buy any expensive soap that is full of chemicals…

Today while the girls were outside in the garden with their friend, they noticed two White Eye birds frantically flying around looking for something. Finally, they discovered a little baby White Eye bird on the ground. We didn’t know what to do so we decided to take the little wooden bird house that Caiden made and put it up in the tree near where the nest could possibly have been. Then we put him in the house and waited to see what would happened next.

Well…

Isn’t he just gorgeous??

His mommy found him and started to bring him food, it was the sweetest moment… it was beautiful…

See you all tomorrow for Creative Friday.

Comments { 16 }

600th Blog Post Giveaway

I have reached the 600th post mark on my blog and I felt I would celebrate by having a giveaway! I will be giving away this very vibrant and colourful aran weight yarn and a pattern to one reader. I have so enjoyed the years blogging since I started in 2008 and have connected with wonderful friends all across the globe. You have all taught me so much and I am filled with gratitued :)

If you would like to enter my giveaway, just leave a comment and I will choose a winner on Tuesday evening, I will post the winner’s name here in this blog post. Please make sure I have a way to reach you if you win.

Winner:
Cybele said…
Congrats on 600th posts! I have only started blogging so hitting the 600th mark seems unfathomable to me right now. Great read and some awesome patterns to boot!

Congratulations!! Please could you send me your postal details:)

May 29, 2011 8:48 PM
Happy Sunday
xo
Linda

Rainbow Aran Merino Hand Painted Yarn 3.5 ounces / 100 grams

Rainbow Aran Merino Hand Painted Yarn 3.5 ounces / 100 grams

Rainbow the Pegasus Unicorn with Wings Pattern, PDF

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